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Pac-12 Football Odds and Picks: The Gamble-Tron, Rivalry Week

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Can we still call it a rivalry?

Rotted apple Photo by Andreas Arnold/picture alliance via Getty Images

Welcome once again to rivalry week. You may remember rivalry week as that time when you were happy once every few years but now you know it simply as “I’m the guy who is on the wrong end of Ed Norton’s boot in American History X” week. Team Gamble-Tron is finally going to deal with this year’s Apple Cup the right way, by sleeping through it, looking at the score upon waking up, and never thinking about the game ever again.

Despite the annual and inevitable beatdown we’ll see on Friday, this week is one of our last chances to place some friendly wagers on college football games, which makes this one of the best weekends of the year! And anyway our favorite team is already going to a bowl game so what’s another loss, especially if it means a better bowl destination (which is actually possible)? Always look on the bright side. Ok, sometimes. Ok, for this week anyway.

Why I love gambling: For weeks upon weeks and years upon years, it seems like our Achilles heel has been the Pac-12. We always seemed to do much better when picking games outside the home conference. Well, over the past couple weeks at least, our Pac-12 picks have gone 9-3. Have we finally figured out how to pick this conf...lolol I couldn’t even finish the sentence. But we’ll take it!

Why I hate gambling: The Ohio State Buckeyes have been steamrolling opponents all year, and Saturday’s game against Penn State looked to be more of the same. Then Justin Fields decided to fumble an inch short of the end zone. Then he decided to keep fumbling. Next thing you know, an Ohio State team that was at least three touchdowns better was scrambling to just hang on. Shoulda covered easily, didn’t come close to doing so.

Last Week: 9-8-1

Season Total: 104-105-4

Reader Results:

  • WSUCougars’01: 6-4
  • DallasCoug: 7-4
  • stewak: 5-1
  • BothwaysUphill: 4-3 (picking both Stanford and Cal is a bold strategy so I cancelled them out)
  • NWFlyfishing: 4-4-1
  • 89Coug in FL: 7-4
  • .:R: 5-3
  • 425CougFan: 7-3
  • Sloan353: 6-4
  • BRCoug99: 8-5

Washington State Cougars at Washington Huskies (-6.5): The line opened Washington -8. Since then, 95% of the bets have come in on Washington and the line has [checks for the tenth time] come down to 6.5? What the hell is going on? Does it matter? Of course not.

The Pick: You already know

Colorado Buffaloes at Utah Utes (-28): For real, Utah ain’t f***ing around.

The Pick: Utah / Under 49.5

California Golden Bears at UCLA Bruins (+1): This one opened UCLA opened -2, and the line has swung as far as Cal -2 in some spots. For me, this is all about Chase Garbers. He may be like the sixth-or-seventh best quarterback in the conference, but for some reason Cal is a completely different team with him in the game.

The Pick: Cal

Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Stanford Cardinal (+14.5): I think Notre Dame is going to try and win this one by 100. Meanwhile, as we’ve said many times for many years, David Shaw is vastly overrated as an in-game coach. Now that the talent is gone, so are the Cardinal

The Pick: Irish

Arizona Wildcats at Arizona State Sun Devils (-12.5): One of our favorite historical quotes, courtesy of warrior-poet/New York Knick/cocaine aficionado Michael Ray Richardson, seems apt for the Wildcats. The ship be sinking.

The Pick: ASU

Oregon State Beavers at Oregon Ducks (-19.5): This may be a double overreaction to last week, as Oregon lost (which didn’t surprise us at all) and OSU probably should have won. I think the Beavers can keep this close, and I think they are much more motivated.

The Pick: OSU

Texas Tech Red Raiders at Texas Longhorns (63.5): Texas unders is quite a thing under Tom Herman, and Texas Tech isn’t exactly setting the world on fire.

The Pick: Under

Texas A&M Aggies at LSU Tigers (-17): Gonna tell you right now, Coach O is looking to put an absolute beatdown on A&M after what happened last year.

The Pick: Go Tigahs!

I’m finalizing these picks on Thanksgiving, and I am incredibly thankful for those of you who read this drivel every week, while playing along with me. I’ve said it before, but I’ll repeat it here. When Jeff and Mark reached out to me back in 2014, my only request was that they let me write a gambling column every week. It’s a labor of love for sure, and I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity. Happy gambling and Go Cougs.